Listen to RFI News
Expand Player
Listen Download Podcast
  • Paris Live PM 1300 - 1400 GMT
    News bulletin 07/22 13h00 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 1300 - 1400 GMT
    News bulletin 07/19 13h00 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 1300 - 1400 GMT
    News bulletin 07/18 13h00 GMT
  • 13h00 - 14h00 GMT
    News bulletin 04/05 13h00 GMT
  • 13h00 - 14h00 GMT
    News bulletin 04/04 13h00 GMT
  • 13h00 - 14h00 GMT
    News bulletin 04/03 13h00 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.

Hundreds of vineyards and farms damaged by storms in southern France

media Montpellier under water on Monday AFP/Sylvain Thomas

Storms in southern France have devastated vineyards and farms in the southern French department of l’Hérault. Winemakers and farmers are lobbying for government support and a rapid response from insurance companies after floods in the city of Montpellier and the countryside around it.

About 200 vineyards and farms suffered “enormous damage” on Monday when torrential rain hit the area, said Jérôme Despey of the local chamber of agriculture and farmers’ union, FNSEA.

Interactive map of France

The grape harvest started in August so only about 15 per cent of the crop was still on the vines but the vines themselves were badly damaged in many cases.

“East of Montpellier the water swept away whole clumps of vines and it is still difficult to get to the flooded fields,” he said on Tuesday afternoon when Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve visited the region.

Other crops were destroyed greenhouses were flooded, he added, calling for the government to declare state of natural disaster, which obliges insurance companies to pay compensation to victims, as quickly as possible.

Agriculture Minister Stéphane Le Foll called for a reduction in property taxes on farmers’ land and asked banks to help winemakers to “get through this difficult period”

Despey pressed Cazeneuve to reduce farmers’ social security payments.

The floods are believed to have caused millions of euros-worth of damage in Montpellier itself.

A storm warning for the Var region, to the east of l'Hérault, was lifted on Wednesday.

Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.